Livestreaming from Cathedral of St Joseph20 December, 2022
Livestreaming from St Joseph’s first began in 2014 with Bishop Michael’s Episcopal Ordination. Since then we have regularly streamed weekly Masses and significant events for the Diocese. Livestreaming became a particularly good tool during the COVID pandemic lockdowns when we were unable to meet in person. While many places were hastily trying to set-up facilities to stream services, we already had everything in place to bring the Mass to everyone in their homes. For Easter of 2020, when lockdowns had not long been in place, our streamed celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday jumped to nearly 23,000 views!
During the lockdowns to help connect and support our communities, Bishop Michael started streaming daily Masses – initially from the Bishop’s Chapel at the Diocesan Office, and then from the Cathedral of St Joseph. This has mostly continued since that time, although those connecting has dropped as people have returned to their local Masses.
With the restoring of the Sunday obligation on all of the baptised and people being asked to gather and participate in the Mass in their local communities, it has been decided that we will no longer stream the daily (weekday) Masses from the Cathedral of St Joseph. The streaming of daily Masses will end following Christmas 2022. This will not change the streaming of the 9.30am Sunday Mass ongoing though. As Bishop Michael said in his Advent Pastoral letter, “Those who are infirm and those who live in remote parts of the Diocese can join the Cathedral Community for Sunday Mass live streamed from our Cathedral”.
After Christmas there will be a two-week break of no streaming while our volunteers have a break. Sunday Mass streaming will resume from Sunday, 15th January. We will also continue to offer streaming of other significant Diocesan celebrations from our Cathedral when they occur, to help connect all across our vast Diocese with these important celebrations.
Streaming of Masses is done by a small group of volunteers and some Diocesan staff who generously give their time. While not overly complicated, some time of training is required until people familiarise themselves with the system. The running of the system is done from a small desk with a few controls located out the back of the Cathedral near the Sacristy area. From here we control three cameras located in the Cathedral to best capture what is happening. Of course with technology there can always be complications and we’ve had times without power and issues with equipment such as the computer, internet, cameras and sound, as well as software issues with the local programs or YouTube itself. Many a time there has been tinkering with the equipment, quick thinking or a phone call to try and rectify an unexpected issue in the minutes before Mass is due to begin. Despite all of this we have managed to regularly offer streaming services for eight years and have connected with thousands of viewers from across our Diocese and the world.